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Greene County Sheriff: 'Terrible' Idea for Board to Take Control of Dispatch

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GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith says the Board of Supervisors should not take over the county's dispatch system, calling it a "terrible" idea.

Sheriff Smith said Thursday, December 21, that he is determined to not let politics effect the quality of his 911 services.

“I was elected to preserve public order and to provide a safe community for all of us to enjoy and that is what I intend to do," said Smith during a press conference.

The Greene County Board of Supervisors put out a statement Tuesday, December 19, saying it is taking over "management and operations" of the county dispatch.

The board's plan is to take over fire and emergency services while the sheriff's office dispatch will handle sending out deputies to 911 calls. Board of Supervisors Chairperson Michelle Flynn said the purpose of restructuring management is "to provide the best management services to the citizens."

Smith believes breaking the services into different sections will cause major problems in the dispatch center: "This will not work, and will compromise public safety and the safety of my officers and all county responders. This also illustrates that the Board of Supervisors has no knowledge of how emergency operations work in this county," said the sheriff.

Smith said he is willing to take legal actions, but he first wants to find a resolution with the Board of Supervisors. The sheriff said he hopes inviting the board to visit and see the dispatch center in its current format will help.

In October, a judge ruled in favor of the Greene County Board of Supervisors after the sheriff sued, claiming the county improperly took control of the 911 operations supervisor position.